STARTUPS: Stop Looking For Money!!!

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The longer and more energetically

 

you look for venture capital, the

 

quicker the likelihood your new

 

business will go down the tubes!

 

The process of seeking startup funding is like trying to put the roof on a new garage that you’ve already rushed to park in… but that has no studs in place or foundation to hold them. Advice: If you’ve gone this far, don’t be sitting in your car, especially if it’s a top-down convertible. After coaching 500 successful launches, I know whereof I speak.

With extremely few exceptions, I have found that the physical, mental, and emotional drain an entrepreneur experiences while chasing money ends up costing so much in time, energy, attention, out-of-pocket expenses, and lost opportunities, that new business ventures are often thrown under the bus before they can even get reach the intersection.

USE your time/money/energy instead to make your ideas work. When you ignore your finances and focus on making your idea work, on the market you’re going into and on the marketability of your product or service, money will come to you, seemingly out of nowhere and from sources you might least expect.

Don’t let others (including TV programs like Shark Tank or websites like Kickstarter) fool you into thinking that formal business plans, for example, are the answer. They’re not.

I’ve written scores of formal business plans, some of which raised many millions of investment dollars. But those winning plans were for established businesses seeking capital to expand. And they took four to six months to write. That’s a big chunk of time to not be head-down-and-charging-forward with birthing your business.

And all formal business plans cost some substantial dollars for professional fees (CPA, attorney, writer, researcher, printer, etc.). Well, what about offering those folks equity? you might ask. Think hard about that one. Even if they love you and your ideas, they got where they are by charging big-time fees, and your credit sheet, charging for telephone time, for example, won’t be any exception.

The best business plans (unless you are truly at the break-out point of needing venture capital or a bank or small business loan, which unfortunately still all call for formality) . . . the best plans are typically scribbled on the back of an envelope, folded into a pocket for a few days, then replaced with another updated version, which is folded into a pocket for a few days, then replaced . . . etc., etc.

These “Envelope Plans” are best because they are real-time happening and they keep your attention on what you need to do today, tomorrow, this week.

Goals are great and highly recommended if they are specific, realistic, flexible, due-dated, and are in writing. But thinking too much about your goal puts your mind into fantasyland and pulls you away from your immediate purpose. Runners who focus on the finish line too much, trip and fall.

If your idea is good and marketable, stay with it. Work it. Make it happen. After it’s working, if you want to expand operations, then consider formal business plans. But don’t distract your commitment and passion at the outset. Would you put a new baby down in the middle of a high-traffic expressway so you could run a few miles to go buy extra diapers?

 

# # #

 Hal@BusinessWorks.US or 931.854.0474 or comment below

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